Characters / The Queen's Thief

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  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: The only one who can invoke this from him is Attolia, in her very scary The High Queen persona.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: The escape by this method didn't work as well as it should have, thanks to interference from a certain someone. See Cosmic Plaything.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking
  • Badass: In many ways. He's an excellent fighter, but his greatest strength is how much of a clever, conniving bastard he is.
  • Badass Back
  • Badass Boast: "I can steal anything," followed by "I can do anything I want!" with a helping of Punctuated! For! Emphasis!.
  • Badass Bookworm: He's very knowledgeable about the old myths but also keeps up with the current plays and other scholastic affairs.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: He wanted to marry his love. He married her, along with all the responsibilities and obligations that came with the position.
  • Break the Cutie: Broken horribly and tragically in the second book.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Subverted. Initially he and everyone else thinks that a one-handed thief is no thief at all, but as the magus says, he can still do something.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He pisses off everyone. Everyone. The family member who's the fondest of him says that being constantly angry with him is the correct reaction. But he is the best thief.
  • The Chessmaster: Particularly in King of Attolia. He promises Attolia that he can bring down Erondites' house in six months and it only takes him 98 days.
  • Comes Great Responsibility
  • Consummate Liar: In the words of Eddis: "He always lies to me. He lies to himself. If Eugenides talked in his sleep, he'd lie then too."
  • Cosmic Plaything: The gods had a hand in some of his great, as well as his not so great achievements.
  • Cowardly Lion/The So-Called Coward: He doesn't like fighting which makes people tend to assume that he's a coward who isn't good at it. They are very wrong.
  • Crazy-Prepared
  • Dance of Romance: With Attolia in The King of Attolia.
  • The Dog Bites Back: In Queen of Attolia. He is in love with Attolia, granted, but the way he humiliates her after she cuts off his hand is definitely karmic.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: After his episode of Break the Cutie, his long hair is cut short and it stays that way for the rest of the series.
  • First-Person Smartass: In the first book only.
  • Gallows Humor: Thieves traditionally fall to their deaths, as he's happy to tell Costis while he is drunk-hopping on crenelations.
  • Gentleman Thief: Although he appears to be a common street thief in the first book, he's quite insistent that he's from a respectable family. From Eddis' royal family in point of fact.
  • Guile Hero: Basically whenever you think you know what Gen is up to, you don't. And even if you do, you don't know the half of it.
  • Hairy Hammerspace: Part of his first plot: hiding something essential in his long hair.
  • Happily Married: After a lot of trial and suffering, he and Irene—that is, the Queen of Attolia.
  • Heroic BSOD/Heroic RROD
  • He's Back: Makes a spectacular and ground-breaking return after his episode of Angst in the second book.
  • Hook Hand: From the second book onwards.
  • Hyper Awareness
  • Impossible Thief: He goes from a lowly thief in the prisons of Sounis at the beginning of the series to the sovereign of ''all three countries by the end of the series; Eddis, Sounis and Attolia. Though to be fair, he was in prison by his own choice and only pretending to be "lowly".
  • I Should Write a Book About This: How the first book came into being, apparently. Sophos does something similar to create A Conspiracy of Kings.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He enjoys provoking the hell out of people, is rude and sarcastic, and generally infuriates everyone he meets, but he's still a good friend who's trying to help the peninsular countries the best he can.
  • Jumped at the Call: When it comes to spying in Attolia. It loses him a hand.
  • Leap of Faith: He believes he'll only ever die of a fall if his god himself drops him. And once your god betrays you, you really don't have any hope left anyway.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Spends most of his time being a pain in the ass, but when you put his back to the wall watch out. The magus, Attolia, and the Mede found this out in different ways.
  • Like Brother and Sister: With Eddis, his cousin.
  • Love at First Sight: Towards the Queen of Attolia. He says that this kind of love doesn't last, mind, but he spies on her enough that it just gets stronger.
  • The Masochism Tango: With Attolia. First he fell in love with her from afar. He spent a lot of time sneaking around and watching her. Then she cut off his hand, causing him to go into a deep depression. Eventually he recovers, only to kidnap her and propose marriage.
  • Meaningful Name: Eugenides is also the name of the god of thieves, and as he's the Queen's Thief, it's his name as well as his title.
  • No Hero to His Valet: As much as his childhood friend and cousin Eddis respects him, she still says explicitly that she would sooner strangle him than marry him. She also tells the woman he's in love with how much of a liar he is.
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: In the first book. Funny thing is, he's the narrator, using the first-person perspective. Somehow he manages to fool the reader without leaving out anything that would be noticed. This also comes into play in the third book (although this time the reader is in on it), wherein the court in Attolia are lead to think he's an ineffectual Upper-Class Twit.
  • Pals with Jesus: Eugenides is noted for not only talking to his gods, but for having them talk back. Of course, they tell him things like "STOP WHINING" and "GO TO SLEEP", which he finds to be rather anticlimatic.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: He's noted to be small (shorter than Attolia, for example) but he's a very effective fighter.
  • Reluctant Ruler: He married his wife because he loved her, not because he wanted her throne.
  • Reluctant Warrior: He hates killing and refused to follow his father into the army, which caused a lot of strife between them. But the final refusal came after years of learning how to fight.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something
  • Screw The Rules, I'm Eugenides!
  • Sherlock Scan
  • The Snark Knight: This is a main reason why everyone wants to hit him. He snarks at himself just as much.
  • Stalker with a Crush: To Attolia.
  • Street Urchin: See Obfuscating Stupidity above.
  • Took a Level in Badass
  • Trickster Mentor: Towards Sophos, and towards some degree towards Costis.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: At first, he despised fighting and killing like his father did, but it soon became a necessary skill for him to keep his position and his life. He also turned out like his mother and grandfather, who were both thieves.
  • Unreliable Narrator: In The Thief, like you wouldn’t believe. See also Obfuscating Stupidity, above.

Eddis Helen

The Minister of War

  • Authority Equals Asskicking
  • Badass
  • Badass Army: He leads one.
  • Four-Star Badass
  • Papa Wolf: Downplayed example, since he is also The Stoic, and given his position and the political elements of the series, he cannot actually strike out at the woman who cut off his son's hand. He does make it as clear to her as he can that he is very angry with her for it.
  • The Stoic: According to Eddis, he, like his son, will not admit when he is in pain.

Attolia Irene



Costis Ormentiedes

  • Badass: Well, he's a soldier and squad leader for a reason.
  • Berserk Button: The honor of the Queen's guard, his own honor, honor in general.
  • The Chew Toy: Most of the third book is about him getting punished, ostracized, provoked, humiliated, being called out in the middle of the night because the king has gone nuts...
  • Did I Say That Out Loud: Costis' response to Eugneides saying the way he can get out of serving him is if both he and Attolia were killed and he instead served their heir, an option Eugenides says is unlikely. To which Costis asks if he means both of them dying or them making a heir. It's only after the words leave his mouth that he realizes what a huge mistake he made in saying them...
  • Field Promotion: The king promotes Costis to lieutenant so he can have him as a personal guard, long before Costis would have been considered ready by himself or Teleus.
  • Honor Before Reason: Seems to be a theme with members of the Guard, but even they think Costis takes it too far.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: He sees himself as one to Attolia, mentally referring to her as "my Queen" rather than the more proper "Your Majesty".
  • Love Epiphany: Not so much love as loyalty, but not long after Costis says he'd happily see the king choke to death accidentally, he finds himself making a wild charge through hunting dogs and high-ranking officials to save Eugenides' life. He finds himself re-evaluating that statement in light of his own actions.
  • Oh Crap!: When he realizes that the dogs were released to occupy the Guard and leave the king alone in the garden.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Very early in King of Attolia, when he punches said king in the face for mocking the Guard's inability to protect their queen in the previous book. Turns out this was all part of the plan for Eugenides—by changing Costis' mind he hoped to change Teleus'.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: To Eugenides, saying that he sits on the throne like a printer's apprentice among other things.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Attolia at first, then eventually Eugenides as well. It causes him no amount of conflicting emotions, partly because he doesn't realize that Eugenides and Attolia actually do love each other for another hundred pages or so, and is worried he might be forced to choose between them.


  • Honor Before Reason: Surprisingly averted, unlike other guardsmen.
  • Odd Couple: A pragmatic okloi, best friends with Costis, an honor-bound patronoi.

Baron Erondites

Erondites the Younger (Dite)

  • Bawdy Song / Ear Worm: He wrote one called "The King's Wedding Night". It’s even a plot point.
  • The Unfavorite: His father hates him and only won't disinherit him because he'd only have Sejanus left.


  • Big Brother Instinct: Though he's the younger brother, he's favored by their father and treated as the would-be heir, so he tries to look out for Dite. He hates Eugenides and tries to have him killed mainly because Dite is so in love with the queen, and confessed to a crime he didn't commit to save Dite.
  • Graceful Loser: When Eugenides tears down his entire house in the space of fifteen minutes and leaves him just his and Dites' life, Sejanus accepts it stoically and calls him by the archaic title 'Basileus' as he's arrested.
  • The Hyena: Whether the joke ends up on him or someone else, Sejanus always laughs.
  • Jerk Ass: The only reason he's popular is that people like him mocking the people they dislike, and they also don't want to end up as a target.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He actually loves his brother, he just pretends not to so their father doesn't separate them.
  • Mugging the Monster: Like many of the Attolians, he underestimates Eugenides as a pawn of the queen of Eddis, and falls for his Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Smug Snake


The Magus

  • Authority Equals Asskicking: He was a soldier before becoming magus.
  • Badass
  • Badass Bookworm: He's probably the most scholarly character in the books, but he's a skilled fighter and an incredibly capable royal servant.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In Queen of Attolia, he tries to return Eugenides' spirits by saying there are still things he can do. Eugenides takes him at his word and steals the magus by framing him for the destruction of Sounis' navy. The magus didn't mean he should do that!
  • The Chessmaster
  • Cool Teacher: To Sophos and Ambiades.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Thus far, his real name has not been revealed.
  • Guile Hero: In the first book he devises a plan to conquer Eddis without warfare by compelling the queen to marry Sounis through her country's sacred artifact.
  • Out-Gambitted: By Eugenides, who knew that this plan was in the works and planted himself in the magus' party as their thief.
  • The Professor: When he's not plotting, he's studying botany and applying historical analysis to legends and myths.
  • Quip to Black



  • Awesome Moment of Crowning
  • Badass
  • Bad Liar
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He tries to win over the barons with an idealistic speech about how they need to ally with Eddis and Attolia. It doesn't work. So he shoots the chief conspirator against him very dead and asks for a new vote. They confirm him as King unanimously.
  • Break the Cutie: During A Conspiracy of Kings, when he is kidnapped, becomes a slave, and is generally thrust neck-deep into the cutthroat politics of his world, where everyone is trying to manipulate him.
  • The Bus Came Back: He doesn't appear at all in the middle two books, but he's the protagonist of the fourth.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: During the fourth book, he realizes that he's done his family, servants, and country a huge disservice by not putting any effort into being a plausible, intimidating heir to his uncle.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: A Conspiracy of Kings is about this.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: He thinks of himself as a spineless weakling unworthy to succeed his uncle. At one point he says that his gift is knowing that he is an ass. (In fairness, so few people do.)
  • Made a Slave: He's hidden by his kidnappers this way in Conspiracy of Kings, along with some beating to make his face unrecognizable. He actually likes it better than being the heir.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: In A Conspiracy of Kings. Everyone thinks he's an idiot and his emotions show on his face. So he lets everyone think he's a gormless, naive dolt while he plans to show them all that he is 1. smart and 2. definitely ruthless enough to succeed his uncle.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something
  • Took a Level in Badass: During A Conspiracy of Kings.


  • Face–Heel Turn
  • Jerkass: Is a serious jerk to Sophos, who hero-worships him, not to mention anyone who he perceives as being from a lower class (most noticeably Gen).
  • Impoverished Patrician: His family was disgraced a generation ago.